1. Hike the peaceful, wildlife loaded nature trails of Weedon Island Preserve
1800 Weedon Dr NE, , 33702
One of the most enjoyable places to visit in the Tampa Bay area is beautiful Weedon Island Preserve. This beautiful 3000+ acre St. Petersburg oasis is the place for those looking for a natural escape.
Whether you feel like hiking, watching wildlife, taking photos, or just enjoying the beautiful views, you will find it all at Weedon. Be sure to climb to the top of the overlook tower for amazing overviews of the city.
2. Enjoy nature trails, look out for alligators, & bird watch at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
1101 Country Club Way S, , 33705
If you have ever wanted to see a gator in the wild, Boyd Hill is the place to go. During the cooler months, this wonderful preserve is a hotspot for seeing alligators.
If you are lucky you may even have a chance to spot a baby alligator. Other possible wildlife encounters include gopher tortoises, armadillos, over 50 species of butterflies, and plenty of birds.
Be sure to take the narrated tram ride around the preserve - it's the easiest way to learn about all the different animals and ecosystems found within the preserve. 6 miles of trails are available if you prefer to explore the grounds on your own.
3. Explore the collection at The Chihuly
720 Central Ave, , 33701
Artist Dale Chihuly is known for his impressive glass blown art pieces. At the wonderful Chihuly Museum in St. Petersburg, you will get to enjoy the colorful permanent collection. All of the pieces are really creative and eye catching. As St. Petersburg is one of the top art cities in the country, there are many more art galleries to explore in the area. Be sure to add a visit to The Chihuly to your itinerary.
4. Enjoy the smoothest, whitest sands at Clearwater Beach
10 Pier 60, , 33767
Clearwater is home to world famous beaches, featuring beautiful powder-like white sand & warm waters. The year-round warm temperatures make it a great vacation destination anytime of the year. The sand is so smooth to the touch you will want to throw off your flip flops and dig your toes right in.
Clearwater is wider and longer than the majority of Gulf Coast beaches, giving you plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the day. It's long enough for a nice relaxing morning stroll.
Plenty of amenities can be found at Clearwater Beach including volleyball courts, a boardwalk, and a nightly Sunsets at the Pier festival. Visit during the fall and winter months to bypass the hefty summer crowds. During the off season, you will also enjoy hassle free parking and milder, less humid temps!
5. Get back to nature at Moccasin Lake Park
2750 Park Trail Ln, , 33759
Moccasin Lake Nature Park is the place to get away from it all in Clearwater. Located far away from the touristy beach crowds, this is the place to go to soak in some nature. Here you will be able to enjoy short nature trails under a canopy of shady oak trees. In addition to bird watching, you may see other forms of wildlife including gopher tortoises and alligators. Also on-site is a Birds of Prey exhibit, home to several injured birds.
6. Enjoy the clear waters & quiet atmosphere of Pass-a-Grille Beach
13 11th Avenue, , 33706
Pass-a-Grille is a quaint section of popular, touristy St. Pete Beach. If you are looking for a relaxing day of swimming in the warm waters and digging your toes into the white sand, then Pass-A-Grille is the beach for you.
From the beach, you can walk over to the historic Pass-A-Grille neighborhood, home to dozens of unique local shops and restaurants.
7. Beachcomb at Sand Key State Park
1060 Gulf Blvd, , 33767
Adjacent to Clearwater Beach, you will find a low key alternative named Sand Key. While this beach is a bit rockier and less commercialized, there are tons of shells to be found. Seashells in every size and color line the shores of this beautiful beach. Beautiful skyline views and a scenic picnic area are also on-site. You are bound to leave with a big bag of gorgeous shells so you can save yourself some money at the gift shops.
8. Spend the day relaxing on the wide sandy shores of Treasure Island beach
11260 Gulf Blvd, , 33706
One of the area's widest beaches, Treasure Island, is an ideal choice for beach goers seeking a little more personal space. There is plenty of room here for all your favorite beach sports, from frisbee to sand volleyball. After your day at the beach, you will find plenty of local shops and waterfront restaurants to check out.
9. Dine at the largest Spanish restaurant in the world
1241 Gulf Blvd, , 33767
Columbia holds the distinction of being the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. The first cafe opened in Tampa's historic Ybor City back in 1905. Today, you do not have to make the trek all the way into the city to enjoy great Cuban cuisine.
In fact, the most scenic location can be found in the Sand Key area of Clearwater. The beautiful waterfront patio has earned this restaurant its' place amongst the most scenic restaurants in the country. Do treat yourself to a wonderful Paella dish, accompanied by savory Cuban Black Beans.
10. Enjoy quiet nature trails & bird watching at Sawgrass Lake Park
7400 25th St N, , 33702
This small park in St. Petersburg is a great pick for light morning exercise, alligator watching, and photography. Wintertime is a great time to visit as the temperatures will be cooler and gator sightings are more frequent.
A small mile long boardwalk trail takes you over beautiful historic swamps while an overlook provides great views of the lake. In addition, bird watchers will appreciate the diversity of species found throughout the park.